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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi EOC,

Been a lurker and owner for years, and finally decided to start posting my build and the projects I've been working on. I recently started posting here and there and decided to start my overall build thread here, and add on to it.

Being an avid tinkerer and customizer, I definitely wanted a certain look, make the E match some hobbies, and I worked pretty hard to get it where it is. But I found a lot of inspiration from this site and other off road vehicles like the Jeeps and Toyotas.

To date I’ve worked on and done the following:
- Offroad Rims and Tires
- DDIN In-Dash Nav
- Remote Start Alarm
- Custom Full Length Offroad Roof Rack
- Custom Rock Sliders
- Square LED Projector Fogs
- Custom Lift Kit and Leveling Kit
- Custom Heavy Duty Integrated Rear Hitch
- Bull Bar

This will be my overview thread, then I’ll just post separate individual threads on the custom stuff.

This build has taken me years to do, a lot of tinkering, a few iterations, and a good amount of money. Overall I’m happy with the look of my E, and do get compliments here and there.

Hope you enjoy. Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Reserved this one for Wheels, Rims and Suspension.

From humble beginnings the first thing I technically did was a black out on the grille, front and rear bumpers. But very soon after it was rims and tires. Found some nice Jeep rims off craigslist and gambled a little bit with the offset. To be honest, at first I didnt like how much they poked out, they poke out a lot, but it grew on me. Looking back at pictures I remember I put the originals back on (blacked out with wheel spacers) and thought that was worse. So I played hurry up on the black out on the Jeep rims then they looked really good on the rig.

Currently running Toyo AT 235-65-17's, which is pretty big and very much fills the wheel well. And yes they rub, even with a small grind job in the wheel well. And even with my front leveling spacer it rubs. But I can say that if I ran a larger front lift then it would probably cure my rubbing issues.

Running a much larger wheel/rim package with a big offset brings forth a lot of things that you don't normally notice with rake, issue being clearance above the front tire. I probably only had 1" of clearance, but rear looked fine. It didn't look right, so I had to lift the front end somehow.

As a temporary fix while working on suspension options - I used spring spacers, the things you put in-between the coils to prevent the springs from compressing all the way. And that worked to get me by.

At the time only the CCM 3" lift was available, and I read enough things that I didn't want to go that high. Of course there was the Sparman, but I wanted something more bolt-on. So I went ahead and designed up and had manufactured some 1" and 1.75" front spacers. A little trial and error and some adjusting of things and I got it to work.

The straight 1" was actually too much, so we reduced them just a bit to get the rake looking right again.

The 1.75" looked great, but I had to pull them off because of the axle shake and shimmy. I also needed a rear lift to re-correct the rake.
With so much messing around with pulling on and off lift spacers I messed up my factory axles and got 'replacements'. By replacements I mean aftermarket Ebay axles that suck. At some point I'll replace them with better ones and put back on the 1.75".

So now I am currently running my reduced 1" spacers.

Currently now there are a few more options out there with lift kits on the E. (I.E. - CCM 2", Aerogenics, etc.)

So a few notes on that - Camber Bolts absolutely needed, I would just to have the added adjustability. I had to modify my spacers to correct camber, because even with camber bolts I couldnt get my camber to look correct.
 

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I can't wait to see more on your rock sliders. I've got some ideas that might be fun that I've been dying to try, but its been too hot and I've been too poor. (oh well. Saw that coming when I quit my job and didn't get another one a year ago.)

I love your full-length rack. Where do you get your work done/ do your work? Looks like you have access to a big angry laser or squirt gun.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Cursh,

I've been posting as I get time. I posted a more detailed Roof Rack thread, but still waiting for Admin approval. So hopefully that comes in soon.

I work in the design and manufacturing industry and have some connections. I don't have immediate access to a large laser, as that would be amazing. But I had one of my local shops do the work for me.
 

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what offset and width are those wheels? i was thinking about this tire size but on a liberty 17x7.5" wheel with +33 offset. i didn't think this size would rub but i was thinking could it be the offset of those particular wheels?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi partsbin,

I never actually measured, but pretty sure its 0 offset with 8" width. I'll try to measure tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi marky,

Bullbar is your typical Ebay Hunter Bull Bar. I have mixed opinions about it. Overall it looks nice, but they did an aweful job with the mounting. It hooks up to the radiator support only at 2 points, which I do not like. So I can make it vibrate around just by touching it.

Unfortunately it is one of the only things on the market. But at some point it will be replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Apparently I cant make edits to reserved posts...didnt know there was a time limit, so my bad!

Anyways here's the post on my Lighting Setup:

Currently running:
- LED Headlight Bulbs
- 40" LED Bar
- LED Fog Light Pods, 3” Square
- LED Slim Backup Lights
- LED Reverse Lights

While doing my research I really liked what SuperBrightLEDs had to offer with their lifetime warranties, and at a good price point. So I opted for one of those for my light bar.

The current slim back up lights are also from SuperBrightLEDs, and now as well as the fogs.

Regarding the fogs, I went through some fog light pains to get to the current look. I had the Winjets. They had horrible light output, so I updated those to HIDs along with my headlights. But my Winjets failed and allowed moisture in, so I had to replace those. I found some cool round glass projector foglights online and modified the foglight mounting to work with the Element mounting points. It looked really good, and I had to HID those too to match the headlights. Those housings failed eventually too, so I was left trying to figure out what to do. Which…then I found the LED Fog light Pods. I wasn’t sure if the 3” Squares would work but I took a chance and they fit in the fog light hole just fine and better yet the light output is amazing! I did have to make a custom adapter plate for them to fit and mount up, but I would highly recommend going with these over anything for better lighting. I then also changed my headlights to LED to match.

I included pics of both foglights so you could see them.
 

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0 offset looks about right. thank you.

i recently just put on winjets but i sealed the back with silicon before mounting them. hoping that prevents water from gettin in
 

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what offset and width are those wheels? i was thinking about this tire size but on a liberty 17x7.5" wheel with +33 offset. i didn't think this size would rub but i was thinking could it be the offset of those particular wheels
I think 33mm offset is the sweet spot for maximum useable tire size without modification. I’m dreaming of ordering a pair of 17x8 30mm turbo HDs from 1552 when my ship comes in.

I think I could squeeze 30x10s in there. Wouldn’t do it without more power though. 225/75r16 is about all I can stand with this 4 speed slush box.
 

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Great build! Really liking the FrontRunner-style roof rack you developed. I was looking at doing the same thing at some point, but for now I'm finishing up a steel gobi-style rack.

I'm also really interested in your rock sliders, specifically how you went about mounting them. I'd imagine the side-step mount holes would be ideal, but would need extra support on the load point pinch welds to actually act as a rock slider.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Novasteve! Show some pics of that GobiStyle Rack.

I plan on doing a RockSlider Post this weekend. Yes on the Factory Mounts, but you are spot on. I had to add additional mounting points, even just for me to feel comfortable using them as side steps.
 

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Getting some final paint on it now! The whole build has been.... way too long of a process.
 

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I had to add additional mounting points, even just for me to feel comfortable using them as side steps.
Also following along... I'm trying to make some YJ-Element side step adapters. Seems like it would really open things up. Definitely want to make sure they are sturdy though. I hope to someday design something that china knocks off, lol.


Getting some final paint on it now! The whole build has been.... way too long of a process.
story of my life, lol
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Sorry for the delay on the RockSlider post, got hit with the busy bug…

So years ago soon after I completed my first roof rack, I didn’t like that I always had to open the doors to get to the roof. I knew I needed side steps, so I started researching, and researching, and researching hoping I would find something that I liked, to no avail.

One of the biggest issues with a lot of the side steps on the market was the drop and ground clearance. And I couldn’t live with losing 4-5 inches.
One of my buddies welded up his own rock sliders on his Xterra, and I really liked them. So I started going down the path of rocksliders. I actually did the EOC search and saw the one post about rock sliders and how no one thought it was a good idea… while in the back of my mind I was thinking this was perfect.

So into the design and fab we went. Went with all steel rocksliders, with the slight angle up on the step, and attaches using the factory mounting points. The main body sits flush against the plastic rocker cover and sits perfect right below the corner. The brackets use the factory mounting points, and attach to the main slider body with large 1" bolts at the 3 bracket locations.

I also predrilled additional vertical holes for bolts to go right into the rocker panel, to help with the load and make the sliders more stable. Definitely needed. In hindsight, I guess I could have also made another bracket that attaches to one of the cross braces, but oh well.

The drop is only 2", and the steps stick out about 4" - just enough for the balls of the feet to land on something.

Here are some pics.
 

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wow that's great clearance. for the front mount you can add a stiffening piece that runs from the front mount towards the center of the vehicle. there is a threaded hole meant just for this. im sure you seen on it on the stock mount and after market mounts. im guessing you didn't do that piece because your setup is already sturdy? anyway, looks good and tucked in. much more clearance than my setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks. I was going for high clearance and high step up, I am on the shorter side, so I need as much help as I can get to the roof.

Yes, I was debating on the doing the bracket, but went with the upbolts instead. I should just do both to see which setup works better.
 
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